For many of us, schools are the place where we learned about rules - about how the breaking of them brought about immediate sanction and the argument that you thought the rules were flexible and that stringent enforcement was 'unfair' invoked a stern rebuke. But perhaps that is just us. Judging by the actions of some of our most prestigious schools there appears to have been a sea change in attitude. Rather than accept criticism and remedy areas in which you were at fault, you can now justify your actions on the basis that the rules had never been enforced like this in the past. No doubt many of the practices of Direct Subsidy Scheme schools disclosed by Director of Audit were for the ultimate objective of improving the quality of education by seeking new ways to improve revenue. But at the end of the day the named schools were either bending or breaking the rules. They took short cuts to achieve their objectives rather than following the book. Those who either failed to disclose their financial positions or underestimated their reserves when they were applying for an increase of school fees should now be trying to supplement or revise inaccurate information, not passing off the blame to others. Parents are willing to pay higher fees if there are such educational needs, but schools should not assume a right to charge for more without justifying their reasons. We expect schools such as St Paul's Co-educational College, Diocesan Boys School and some of the other schools named to set an example, while producing students who express a spirit of entrepreneurship and enthusiasm to change things when they see things that are unfair or outdated. But we do not expect to see these students - and especially not the schools who are educating them - to act as if they believe they are above the law. There is certainly room to debate whether schools should have greater autonomy over how they manage their finances. But these issues should be debated openly. Nobody should be allowed to bend or break the rules surreptitiously just because they think they know better. Schools, no doubt, would teach their students the same thing.